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DC Women Kicking Ass

Thoughts, pictures, reviews and other stuff about the women in comics who kick ass. This is a feminist site. Deal with it.
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Jan 1 '13

The Worst of 2012 for DC Women (Yikes!)

The bests of 2012 came first this year and it was a very nice list. But as we know there is the other side of the coin, the worsts. And this year there were some painful ones. To join me in my commiserating and raking over the coals I invited a few of my colleagues; my co-host on 3 Chicks Kelly Thompson, regular guest columnist Liz Pfeiffer, the blogger known as Ragnell, Lisa Fortuner, regular guest contributor and blogger Tim Hanley and Geek Mom, Corrina Lawson to help me make my list.

There was much commonality. Let’s start with the worst of the worst.

1. Psst, Diana? Those Amazons sisters of yours? They weren’t so great!

In Wonder Woman #7 Brian Azzarello had Diana find out that her peaceful Amazon sisters were a bunch of killers. And that there were baby boy Amazons but they were traded for guns.

Kelly wrote about what she calls “the absolute gutting of the Amazons” earlier this year. I did too. 

Tim says about the reveleation

“changing the Amazons into rapists and murderers … shows a disregard for what the Amazons have meant all these years, an oasis of women in such an epicly male-dominated genre.  I know that isolationism is problematic and I’d have been down with making the Amazons less perfect, but this is just way too far.  It obliterates the grace, nobility, and love that has defined DC’s most famous group of women.  And for what purpose?  It hasn’t come up again since, and has had no real effect on the main story.  It feels like a callous, random change.



As Corrina says “the Worst Waste of the Most Awesome Art this year is Cliff Chiang in the issue where Amazons get to be baby slavers & killers.”

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

I loved the first six issues of Wonder Woman and thought it was the best new book of the reboot. But after issue 7 I just couldn’t read it again. I wish I could. As Tim said the revelation in the issue has had no impact on the book. How easy it would be to provide a different explanation than Hephaestus’. 

2.  Superman teaches his “Sexy New Sidekick” how to superhero! 

In a breathless announcement broken in print and TV, DC announced that Superman and Wonder Woman would be embarking on a SUPER ROMANCE. Many were concerned, including me, that Wonder Woman was going to be undermined in a relationship with another member of the Trinity. A relationship which would play out everywhere but her own book.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Tim Hanley says,

“I absolutely hate the Wonder Woman/Superman relationship.  It COULD be interesting (maybe) but it’s so absolutely not.  My main problem with it is that it’s clearly all about Superman, and Wonder Woman was the closest person with a vagina (who’s not named Lois Lane).  It’s Superman telling her about himself, and teaching her about the world FIVE YEARS after she first arrived in it.  Diana is much more than just someone’s girlfriend, and so far that’s what this move has turned her into.”

While Lisa says,
Diana’s secret identity is now CLARK’s idea.  one of the worst parts of post-Crisis Wonder Woman was that they took away iconic pieces of her mythos like Diana Prince, a mortal love interest, and the invisible jet. Eventually, other writers missed those things and came up with ways to bring them back but the most prominent way to bring them back was to attribute them to BATMAN.  in the Heinberg relaunch, he was revealed to have given her the invisible jet and the secret identity, a secret identity which led her to a blonde male love interest.  It really undermined Wonder Woman as a self-contained franchise to lead back to Batman and it was especially galling because pre-Crisis things like the jet and the secret identity came from WOMEN. The jet was a female-built innovation that showed that an all-female culture left on its own for 3000 years would still have science and invention.  The secret identity showed that Diana was clever, adaptable, and helpful.  It’s really irritating to not only see them pass up bringing back Amazon science on a reboot but also pass up bringing back the secret identity even though they still want to use it.  It’s downright insulting that they rebooted Wonder Woman, had a chance to bring all of that back as entirely from her and her people, but have decided that they would rather have her spend five years without a night off until Clark tells her what he does.
That moment when we see her on a date with Clark, giggling because she can’t believe this worked, is the moment that DC let us know that their official take on Wonder Woman is that she’s an idiot with a sword who needs a man around to do the thinking for her.
As I said last week, there can be an interesting story here. But this isn’t the way.

3. “Give me the ink pot, that cannot be Stephanie Brown!”

This year we learned that DC Comics REALLY doesn’t want to have Stephanie Brown in their comics. Even if Scott Snyder, Gail Simone and Grant Morrison ask. Even if she’s already announced as Nightwing in Smallville an out-of-continuity digital first comic. Even if its a Halloween crowd scene in another digital comic, Li’l Gotham, that doesn’t specifically show Stephanie Brown but might be interpreted as her by anyone who knows that DC for two years had a blonde girl in a purple highlighted suit as Batgirl.

Thank god for digital coloring.


I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Liz says

"Stephanie Brown’s erasure from the Smallville series was an extremely disheartening move by DC. It happened after BQM announced she would be Nightwing in the series and an enormous amount of excitement from fans was generated. As Stephanie is not currently in the new52, this issue would have been a bigger seller; so the decision by DC to replace Steph with Barbara was shocking and very disappointing."

I almost hope that someone else tries to slip Stephanie into a book. Perhaps a box of “Brown’s Waffles” will show up in a grocery story or in a character’s freezer. But I understand that not every character can be in the new 52. There are some characters so insignificant and silly they’ll NEVER show up. I mean look at those poor Captain Carrot fans. Oh, really? Never mind.

4. The “Tits and Ass, Orchestra and Balcony, What They Want is Watcha See!” Zero issue cover of Catwoman!


Let’s start with the good news. Lots of fun parody art! And it got changed! But in order for it to change means that someone didn’t have a problem with it to begin with. 

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

5. Well, “technically” DC can say it hired two new female writers in 2012!

Letter to Miss Manners probably never sent by Brian Cunningham:

Dear Miss Manners, I am a comic editor and I have a writer who is very popular with our readers. Her comic sells very well and her books was named to some best of lists. I should add I work for an organization that has been criticized for a not very diverse workforce when it comes to gender . Do you think it would be okay if I fired this writer by email rather than picking up a phone?

Gail Simone replaces Gail Simone as the ongoing writer for Batgirl.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

6. Lois Lane, journalist without integrity and plot device!

Created in 1938 as part of the Superman mythos! Synonymous with female reporter! The title character in a comic that once outsold Batman! Included almost all Superman projects outside including movies and four television shows.  

And now? She’s a plot device to have CLARK quit his job and CLARK pursue a relationship with Wonder Woman. As Corrina said "Worst Use of Lois Lane? Hell, just pick one"

Oh. how about Clark Kent telling Lois Lane what news is.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Liz on her portrayl in Superman written by Scott Lobdell as seen above,

He writes Clark as spying on Lois’s e-mails in a very creepy fashion and essentially writes the greatest fictional investigative reporter of all time as a hack who cares more about entertainment style “news” than ethics and the actual news of the day. On top of that, he writes Clark as chastising Lois for her lack of journalistic integrity. It’s essentially not understanding the character or what Lois represents whatsoever; as well as making Clark as the good guy and the hard worker while Lois is the one we are supposed to dislike for her lack of journalistic standards.

There is good news for Lois fans. Smallville Season 11 offers a traditionally awesome Lois. And Scott Snyder will soon start writing Lois in Man of Steel.

7. Starfire, Still God’s Gift to Fan Service!

Good news! Starfire is getting a new writer. And that costume is supposed to have been replaced despite it being used in its itsyess and bitsyess version for that cover.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

8. Thanks Helena Bertinelli and don’t let the door hit your belly window on the way out!

Eh, what’s 23 years in comics, three minis, a co-starring role in Birds of Prey? Oh and being a character on Batman Brave and the Bold?

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

You know there couldn’t be TWO Huntresses on different worlds! That would be like two Wonder Women, or Batmen or Supergirls or Flashes or Green Lanterns. MADNESS. But it’s not that she was 52’d. Or that I don’t like Helena Wayne. It was just so cold the way they dispersed of Helena B.

Fans do have a version of the character on Arrow. And, heh, at least she got a better costume. One that, for the most part, stays on. Which is more than can be said for …

9.  Power Girl and the amazing, shredding costume.

Power Girl is known for her giant boobs and once had a costume that was built around showing them. But then the costume went away for a new less revealing costume for Worlds’ Finest.

Not that one! This one!

Yeah, that’s better.

No. No, it isn’t. 

So not only did Power Girl get not one but two ugly new costumes, she also got a bonus - the ability for the costume to disintegrate so you actually see more of her than before!

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

(This awesome collage is by Anj at SuperGirl Comic Box Commentary)

I could say that Power Girl’s personality has also been shredded in Worlds’ Finest, but I won’t. Oh, whoops! I did.

10. But we’ll always have the headband Canary figures!

When the new 52 started there seemed to be hope that some of the key women who had made up DC’s history over the last 25 years particularly the Birds of Prey would still exist. Surely if all of the Robins made it through, so could the Birds.

But slowly but surely we saw that the reboot had changed not only Barbara Gordon but Helena Bertinelli and finally Black Canary who had been nutured and grown under the hands of Mike Grell, Chuck Dixon and Gail Simone and others. That Black Canary, Dinah Laurel Lance, the daughter of the original Black Canary, Dinah Drake, and Larry Lance, partner of Green Arrow, partner of Oracle and leader of the Justice League and wearer of some of the worst costumes of any DC female was, sadly, confirmed to longer exist in the first issue of Team 7

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

That’s my list. What’s on yours?

  1. ghost-matter reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    Sexism in comics? IMPOSSIBLE
  2. the-robin-hood reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  3. dazed-starling reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  4. dark-siren reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    This year we learned that DC Comics REALLY doesn’t want to have Stephanie Brown in their comics. Even if Scott Snyder,...
  5. kiotsukatanna reblogged this from wayne-manor
  6. pashy reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  7. arsaltai reblogged this from fanoffandom
  8. fanoffandom reblogged this from angrysunbird and added:
    *quietly crying in a corner with her Steph and Helena B. action figures*
  9. angrysunbird reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    How bad was last year? This bad.
  10. briecs reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    While I do dig World’s Finest, I agree with the majority of these, and I have found that Power Girl’s disintegrating...
  11. whisgeeks reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  12. c-atrox reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    sad but true V.V
  13. randomasis reblogged this from ealperin
  14. pluots-in-april reblogged this from youngjustus
  15. youngjustus reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    DC needs to realize that characters with the same name are not interchangeable. You can’t switch around between Wayne...
  16. coffeebased reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
  17. alanabloomsperpetualangryface reblogged this from rubbady-pubbady and added:
    Fuck all of the above. I’m still trying to recover from the shit they’ve pulled on Stephanie, Babs, and for that matter...
  18. ragnell reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    I agree with pretty much every one of these. It was a terrible year. (The Stephanie recoloring was just… odd. That’s...
  19. ohgodthepandas reblogged this from werewolfau
  20. kittykisa reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  21. ealperin reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  22. swimmingferret reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
  23. defractum reblogged this from wayne-manor
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